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GIZ publication on Results chains in resource governance

 

GIZ has published the results of some recent work I did together with Michael Rösch and Jana Leutner of GIZ headquarters. It relates to the use of the results chain approach to projects and programmes in resource governance. It defines a conceptual framework and methodological tool for planning, monitoring and evaluation which is quite practical in my experience. It lends itself well to visualisation, and can be extended to take special issues (e.g. gender aspects, veto players, spatial relations) into consideration. I'd be very happy to get some feedback from GOXI members on this. See:

http://www.giz.de/Themen/de/SID-BFD96A13-3DEC0781/dokumente/giz2011... 

 

For anyone interested in more advanced tools, check out Parmenides Eidos and Consideo Modeler. I've been exploring possibilities to apply them for analyses related to mining in the the DRC. Does anyone know them, or use them for similar purposes? Jim

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                           ( ".......similar to a snake eating itself....")

 

 Jim:

Thanks for the effort with the results chain principle.

 1. From my understanding of your results chain concept for resource development/governance to altimately result to sustainable development, I believe that the chain should be a loop. Because sustainable development is not an end in itself. It is a continuous process. Outcomes ( socio-economic developments, human rights, and transparencies in governance, etc.) are used as fuel, as inputs back into the process for sustainability. The chain must be looped since the concept is a nonlinear one. Or else how could it result into a sustained resource management?  Redo the graphics to look similar to a snake feeding on itsself.

2. In addition, the number of disclaimers and uncertainties, at the end, seem so numerous that it is difficult to see how this chain result concept can work in practice since it will really be unlikely that any number of the variables that need to be present for the concept to be applicable. 

3. The weakest link in the results chain as it is, is the EITI. In its place should be Good Governance. Good governance is the only cement that holds a result chain inputs to desired outputs/outcomes. EITI by itself does not lead to excellent resorce management for socio-economic development. As an example, Mali was EITI compliant, but the chaos unfolding has to do with bad governance ( unproperly fed and supplied army fighting a war.)

4. In fact in the end, it becomes apparent that the result chain concept is a result of a timid attempt at formulating a principle without much conviction from the inventor.

Again, thanks Jim, for the academic stimulation.

Eng. Ahmed Finoh, MPA

Dear Ahmed Finoh,

Thanks for your comments on the results chain approach. I worked with Jim on the paper and would like to comment some of your points.

The very simple illustration of Results Chains as presented in our study were used to provide a simple explanation on the basic logic of results chains: making the causal path from inputs to outputs, outcomes and finally to impacts explicit. We see this as a contribution to the debate, as this causal path of how initiatives want to reach their objectives often remains opaque.

But I agree that our illustrations of Results Chains are too linear to be applied to and explain complex change processes in a country (Jim also mentioned this challenge in his conclusions and recommendations). To address this challenge we are at this moment further developing our approach to stronger results-orientation and now use the broader concept of Theory of Change (ToC). ToCs conserve the logic of Results Chains but includes further elements, eg assumptions and risks and are illustrated in a non-linear way. (I attach an example of the illustration).

The advantage of ToCs is the inclusion of the assumptions that lie behind the results expectations: There are often many ways to get from A to B, so it’s important to say specifically how you expect it to happen in your programme.  Second, ToCs provide the possibility to discuss risks and activities to address these risks.

We should be very clear, that these models can provide important support to planning and monitoring processes, but the crucial contribution will always come from the people applying them. The models have to be revised constantly to reflect the dynamic of real life processes, being static they will become outdated and irrelevant (as Jim emphasises in his recommendations). Training offers on how to use ToCs can in my opinion be helpful to all stakeholders of transparency initiatives.

 

I don´t see the point that EITI was the weakest link in the results chains approach. When we look at the literature on the resource curse, lack of transparency and accountability are stated as a major factor to explain the negative effects (see for example Andrew Williams, 2010, “Shining a light on the resource curse” or the BMZ publication “Curse or Blessing – Development or Misery. Natural resources, Economic Growth, and Conflict: A Literature Review”). If we see the Principle-Agent Problem and therefore the lack of accountability as a key problem in most resource rich countries, the EITI can rather be seen as one ingredient to break the vicious circle of the resource curse. What can and should be discussed is the point that the EITI can very likely be even more effective if it can better integrate itself into other reform processes in the resource sector, find linkages to public financial management processes and promote good resource governance in a more comprehensive manner in cooperation with other initiatives.

 

Looking forward for more thoughts on this. With best regards

jana

Attachments:

Jana:

Thanks. I will send back my thoughts soonest on your comments.

Eng. Ahmed Finoh, MPA

Dear GOXIans,

I'm pleased to inform you that the French version of the same GIZ paper is now also available: http://www.giz.de/Themen/de/SID-13828DAC-8E533142/dokumente/giz2011...

Please note that GIZ has translated "outcome" into "réalisation", rather than "utilisation". The latter term is, in my experience, more common in the practice of results-based management. 

With GIZ we recently gathered more practical experience using the results chain approach. During a planning workshop held in early May in Kinshasa, we applied this approach to prepare the next phase of the ongoing DRC-German project "Bonne Gouvernance du Secteur Minier" (BGSM). In two working groups of about 8-12 persons each, we examined proposed results chains for each of the two future components of the project (support to fiscal reform and support to public-private dialogue in the mining sector). Each working group refined their respective results chains, identified obstacles to implementation at each level of the results chain and then, based on this, proposed risk-mitigating measures for the next phase. In this context, I think the results chain approach helped us a lot to come to a common understanding of what the project was expected to do, what it was not expected to do (equally important!), and what might prevent it from achieving its goals. The parallel working group sessions lasted about 2 hours. Then the group results were presented and finalized in a plenary session. In general, the whole exercise was efficient and effective, thanks at least in part to the results chain approach.

 

Hi Jim and Jana,

It will be good to have a look at your paper. The links above are not working. Would you please share the document/correct link to the document?

Many thanks, Shishir

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